Macross (マクロス Makurosu, English: /məˈkrɒs/) is a Japanese science fiction mecha anime media franchise, created by Shōji Kawamori of Studio Nue in 1982. The franchise features a fictional history of Earth and the human race after the year 1999. It consists of four TV series, four movies, six OVAs, one light novel, and five manga series, all sponsored by Big West Advertising, in addition to 40 video games set in the Macross universe, 2 crossover games, and a wide variety of physical merchandise. Within the series, the term Macross is used to denote the main capital ship. This theme began in the original Macross, the SDF-1 Macross.
Overtechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship (Alien Star Ship – One later renamed Super Dimension Fortress – One Macross) that crashed on South Ataria island. Humans were able to reverse engineer the technology to create the mecha (variable fighters and destroids), faster-than-light space fold drive for starships and other advanced technologies that the series features. The first TV series with edited content and a revised script was released as the first part of Robotech in the U.S.
The series title comes from the name of the main human spacecraft (which is usually shortened from Super Dimension Fortress to SDF-1 Macross as it is the first). The original name for the Macross project was Battle City Megarodo (or Battle City Megaroad, as the Japanese transliteration to either “L” or “R” gives the title a double meaning in reference to the story line: Megaload, referring to the spacecraft containing an entire city of people; and Megaroad, referring to the long journey through space back to Earth); however, one of the sponsors of the project, Big West Advertising, was a fan of Shakespeare and wanted the series and the spacecraft to be named Macbeth (マクベス Makubesu). A compromise was made with the title Macross (マクロス Makurosu) due to its similar pronunciation to Macbeth in Japanese and because it still contained connotations to the original title. The word Macross comes from a wordplay combination of the prefix “macro” in reference to its massive size in comparison to human vehicles (though when compared with the alien ships in the series, it is a relatively small gun destroyer) and the distance they must cross.
Several sequel series and one prequel have followed. Most use a chronology created by the Studio Nue creators, and those that followed their own chronologies were regarded as “parallel storylines” by the studio. Several different studios were involved with Studio Nue in the Macross franchise along the years, but since 2002’s Macross Zero, production has been handled exclusively between Nue and Satelight, from which Shōji Kawamori is one of the main key members.